Words of Wisdom:

"Herat is beating every moment, its mean we still have a time to be good." - Pras42

Foreign Policy Notes

  • Date Submitted: 04/23/2011 03:11 PM
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Comparative constraints

-Domestic-high constraints

-Mixed-moderate constraints

-Foreign-low constraints

Presidential life cycle

-come into office with mandate

-high popularity

Honeymoon period

-President given time to introduce policies and begin to govern

-Typically short

Most of the time in office

-congress asserts its agenda

-public gets disillusioned, esp if campaign promises are unmet

-increasing criticism as time passes

Approval rating tend to decline

-crisis can help

Lame duck

-between election and swearing in when sitting president gets little done

National Security Council

Most US foreign policy made and implemented by bureaucracy

President (chief admin) must be a good manager and good leader

Bureaucracy can be both a source of power and constraint

Factors hindering bureaucratic management


-5 million people

-15 department plus hundred of other organizations and agencies

-$2 trillion budget

-thousand of programs throughout the world and also in the United States

-Foreign policy bureaucracy

-Defense: largest department in executive branch

3 million civilian and military (including reserves)

$400 billion/year budget



-Most departments have an international section, esp Treasury, Homeland Security, etc.

Bureaucratic Complexity

-each agency has its own bureaucratic culture and SOPs

-Functions overlap and coordination is required

-Agencies have different   level of autonomy

-cabinet agencies are under presidential control

-Federal Reserve is an independent agency

- National Endowment for Democracy is semi-autonomous

Historical development

-at the country’s founding bureaucracy and executive branch were small

-included the State, War, Treasury, and Justice Departments

-also the US didn’t have a standing military

-four waves of expansion

-New Deal...


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